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While it’s been rumored for a while now (amongst several of Asia’s prominent carriers), yesterday Cathay Pacific (CX) announced that they’d begin flying four times a week from their Hong Kong (HKG) hub to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv (TLV).
They will be flying their brand new A350’s which feature economy, premium economy and business class.
Flights will commence on March 26, 2017 and will be scheduled as follows:
These flights are on sale, but not available for award bookings just yet. When they do become available – any day now – Cathay Pacific tends to release a good amount of award space in all classes of service.
American Airlines AAdvantage Miles – Hong Kong, or ‘Asia 2’, to the Middle-East using AA will cost you 25,000 in economy and 40,000 in business each direction of travel.
If you’d like to fly from the U.S. to Hong Kong and onto Tel Aviv using AA miles, AA will charge you two separate awards, as you cannot transit Asia to get to the Middle-East with their award chart.
The great thing about AA miles is that you can fly from somewhere else within the Asia 2 region, connect in Hong Kong and continue onto Tel Aviv. In order to do this, you’ll need to call and book the award over the phone with an agent.
Here’s how AA defines the Asia Region 2
And if you were to start at a different Asia Region 2 city, connect in Hong Kong and continue onto Tel Aviv, you could do something like…
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles – Using Alaska Airlines miles will actually get you a lot farther than using AA miles. With Alaska miles, you are allowed a stopover – as long as you don’t mix partners. So you could fly Cathay from any of their North American gateways, use Hong Kong as your stop (for the same mileage price) and continue onto Tel Aviv as your destination.
This will cost you 25,000 in coach, 62,500 in business and 70,000 in first class – for one way of travel. Generously, Alaska allows you to route via Asia to continue onto the Middle-East.
Using North American gateways, here’s what this could look like:
Award space on Cathay Pacific is pretty generous if you are able to book far in advance, or within 1 – 2 weeks of departure.
Though there is no first class on the HKG – TLV route, it would be worth the extra miles (for some) if you could snag it on your 16 hour flight if you’re coming form the East Coast.
Route news like this is always exciting. El Al already operates a flight between Tel Aviv and Hong Kong, but more competition, especially in the premium cabin space for business travelers is always good for the consumer. These flights will also be fuel surcharge free when using miles! Add to that some truly sweet redemption options and I’d call this a winner.
Cover photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific.